One of Moriarty’s leading altruistic citizens died recently following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Karen K. Trumbull, 75, led a life dedicated to helping others, her friends and family said.
“She was an amazing lady,” said longtime friend Tracey Master. “I adored her. She was probably the best person I ever knew. You hear about good people but Karen was the epitome of good people.”
Trumbull was a longtime Lions Club member, serving as president for a number of years.
And she, along with husband, Don Trumbull, were the backbone behind the Lions Club KidsSight program.
The far-reaching program brought vision screening to students across the state, Masters said.
“I asked her once how many kids they tested and she said 1,500 to 1,800 a year,” Master said, adding the Trumbulls were conducting the program at least 20 years.
Do the math and that comes out to more than 30,000 students over the course of a generation, she said.
Her son, Jason Trumbull, said helping youth was a passion.
“They just drove all over the state and worked their butts off for the kids,” he said. “They worked tirelessly, volunteer wise. They got nothing out of it. But her big thing is she didn’t want to be recognized for what she did. She didn’t want repayment, she just wanted to help.”
Master said she still sees Trumbull as Mrs. Claus.
“I would always call her Mrs. C,” she said with a laugh, adding Trumbull was always Mrs. Claus during the holiday, while Don Trumbull would play Santa. “She dressed the part and everything.”
And what you saw with her is what you got, Master said.
“She was one of the most authentic and genuine people,” Master said. “If she acted like she cared, it wasn’t acting, it was real. She reminded me of the kind of grandmother you wanted when you were little kid. Kind and a giving spirit and patient. With everything going on in our world right now that’s bad, she presented everything that was good.”
Jason Trumbull recalled how his she was kind of the neighborhood mom.
“She was a stay-at-home mom and raised us all, and raised a few neighbor kids along the way,” he said. “She would just help them.”
Jason Trumbull also remembered the emergencies when weather would shut down I-40 through Tijeras, leaving motorists stranded.
“When all the hotels would fill up, they would open up centers and she and dad were always there,” he said. “They would make sure they would have a place to sleep, some hot coffee or cocoa. Sometimes they would be going 24 to 48 hours straight.”
Her selfless work earned her the Lions’ Melvin Jones Award for “the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism.”
In addition to her husband of 56 years, Trumbull is survived by children Kevin, and Aleisha Trumbull, Michelle and Marcus Smith, Jason and Crystal Trumbull, and Amber and Gilbert Ortiz. As well as 23 Grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren.
Services are today at 11 a.m. at the Harris-Hanlon Mortuary in Moriarty, followed by a celebration of life at the Moriarty Lions Club, 201 Broadway.